We had a good week here in Plymouth. Papa is settling in to life in braces and a wheelchair for a few weeks. He does get a bit down on occasion and the other evening was feeling a bit "woe is me!" I finally said the alternative to this is to be dumped into a nursing home is that what you want? It really stopped him short and he was quiet. The next morning we had a very early appointment at the hospital and in the car he looked at me and said, "You are not dumping me in a nursing home are you?" I looked at him and said, "No I'm not, but if I was not here that's where you would be so knock it off." He said, "ok good, I just wanted to be sure you are not mad at me." I know he is frustrated, but we did end the week on a happier note when I transported him to visit mema and we had a nice lunch all together (couple of pictures posted on FB). He was exhausted when we got home, but was already scheming on how to visit again.
I had to be conscious this past week about ensuring that items are laid out on the counter or in the fridge so that papa can reach. I had not thought about it before and it seems there is always something that he could not reach that day. He has not complained about me forgetting anything on the counter, but let's me know in his own way that I forgot. Papa is not happy that he needs an aid for showering and does his best to kick the person out of the bathroom. He has been told that the person has to stay in the room because of liability, but that he can close the curtain and take care of himself. He still does not like it, but I think finally gets it. He is insistent on doing his own laundry, making his bed as much as possible, taking care of himself because he told me if he does not, he'll end up in a nursing home. Papa said this morning after breakfast, "sometimes you get to an age when all you do is heavy sigh."
Mema is starting to get quieter as thoughts and words become harder to express. She can not always answer a question, but she will normally do a task if she is able. She is still very observant watching all around her and giving expressions that just make me laugh. She is eating well enough, but is picky when she wants to be. You can tell when she overwhelmed by the noise or too many people. She may not always be sure who I am by name, but she knows my face. I watch her get excited when someone comes up to her to say hi or give a hug. She does know my visit times have changed almost daily and she will admonish me if I don't come until later in the day.
I continue to learn every day about myself, my parents, caregiving, coaching, the healthcare field, and other people. I can admit (and many of you know how hard this for me) that I am tired and I mean tired, but will continue to do what needs to be done. I thought I knew tired when I worked and I worked some crazy hours over the years, but this is different. I take a few minutes here and there to chill or just be by myself. I go to bed tired and I wake up tired although I believe I have slept. Lady and I share the bed although for a little dog, she takes up a lot of space...LOL!! I am blessed that I can use my support system in Virginia to vent, chat, laugh, keep up-to-date, etc. My BFF Patti is coming to Plymouth this week for a few days. Although we won't be traveling we can take a day trip or two. A change of pace will be nice.
I am blessed in so many ways and I know that. I try to remember every day to express my gratitude to the people in my life. I am no different that others that providing caregiving to others or have their own issues. I find the hardest part is seeing what's happening to other patients in the nursing home and knowing at some point my mother or father could be headed that way.
For a fun item this past week....I received my first ever parking ticket! I went to the harbor to pick up lunch for my parents and was not paying attention. Most of the harbor around the restaurant is under construction so much of the parking has disappeared. We have a town and beach permit and I just pulled in to a meter and parked. I completely forgot that the permit does not provide permission to park at meters. So I was out of the car for 10 minutes and boom....parking ticket. Thank goodness it's only $15.00. Papa said you did not put the handicap sticker up! I said, NO I won't use that if you are not in the car. According to papa if you have to park at a meter and put up the handicap sticker you won't get a ticket in this town. Oh well, I still won't use it unless he's in the car. I have learned my lesson for the week.
For the first time in 18 years I am no paying dues for any type of exercise classes or gym. I decided to give up my Jazzercise membership because I have not been to classes since January and paid every month. There are no classes near Plymouth so I decided it was time to cut the cord. I have to say it was hard to do as there are so many good people at the center. One day I'll get back to Virginia and perhaps I'll rejoin as I truly miss the people and the music. I tried the gym up here, but just had no enthusiasm to go and I truly believe it's more fun to work out with people you know. I do walk Lady four/five times a day at a good pace to keep us both moving.
A big shout out to mema/mom this week as she will turn 83 on the 23rd. We are planning a nice lunch and dessert for her in the quiet room.
I am going to leave it here for today. I am making three types of chicken for dinner today almost like a taste test for the kids when they visit. I hope you have a good week. Take care. Chat soon. Marie
"It always seems impossible until its done." - Nelson Mandela
“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” ― Tia Walker, The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love
“There are only four kinds of people in the world.
Those who have been caregivers.
Those who are currently caregivers.
Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.”
― Rosalyn Carter
Referrals are always appreciated.